Department for Transport response to RMT calling more strikes

In response to RMT’s latest statement calling more strikes on 20, 22 and 29 July, please find the Department’s statement below.

A DfT spokesperson said:

“The RMT leadership’s decision to call strikes targeting two iconic international sporting events, as children and families begin their summer holidays, will disrupt people’s plans across the country. After a year of industrial action, passengers and rail workers alike are growing tired of union bosses playing politics with their lives. It’s high time the union leaders realised that strikes no longer have the impact they once did and are simply driving people away from the railway.

“This Government has played its part by facilitating fair and reasonable pay offers that would see generous increases for rail workers. Union leaders should do the right thing and give their members a chance to vote on these pay offers.”


  • Since taking office, Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Rail Minister Huw Merriman have managed to completely resolve the dispute on Network Rail by meeting union leaders and facilitating fair and reasonable offers on pay and reform that were overwhelmingly accepted by union members. Union leaders refuse to give members at train operating companies (ToCs) a vote on similar offers, which is why the dispute remains ongoing at ToCs.
  • An RMT member on £31,000 who has taken part in strike action throughout this campaign could have lost over £1,000 in take home pay (noting that a typical worker would not have been scheduled to work on each strike day), this rises to around £1,800 for those workers that had been scheduled to work on all strike dates. Some workers may have lost even more as a result of missing out on overtime payments over the Christmas period. This is an illustrative estimate which reflects standard income tax, National Insurance Contributions and pension rates and losses in take home pay will differ according to individual circumstances.
  • TSSA, Unite and RMT members working for Network Rail have all had the opportunity to vote on their future with some overwhelmingly voting to end the dispute. On 20th March RMT members voted to accept the Network Rail revised offer, 76% of whom voted to accept and 24% voted to reject.
  • In line with the existing mandate, the RDG offer on the table to the RMT guaranteed competitive pay rises of 5% + 4% pay increase over two years, with larger increases for the lower paid and no compulsory redundancies, whilst ensuring we can take forward much-needed reform to secure the future of our railways.
  • Any pay offer must balance the need to ensure pay restraint while costs subsidised by the taxpayer and look to deliver savings through much-needed modernisation reforms.

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